Keeping diet journals works for the simple reason that it forces you to begin to notice what you’re eating. If you commit to recording every snack, meal, and morsel you put into your mouth, you will likely make healthier choices. Why? Simply because you’ll become more aware of what you’re putting into your mouth. It may be helpful to add other details to your journal, as well, such as whether you were happy, bored, or stressed out at the time, who you dined with, and whether the foods were tasty or not. An increased awareness can give you insight into your habits and lead you toward healthier choices.
One reason you may be gaining weight is that you’re not paying attention to what you’re devouring. This is especially true if you multi-task while eating. Not only will a habit of mindless meals and snacking cause the pounds to creep on, you won’t be enjoying the experience. Eating ice cream while watching TV may lead to an empty Ben & Jerry’s container but no memory of the Chunky Monkey flavor.
More effective than counting calories or fat grams is the simple act of keeping a written record of your food intake. You are more likely to skip a second helping or choose veggies instead of French fries as a side dish if you know you’re going to have to write it down. Awareness is the first step toward change, and diet journals are a great tool along the way. Record what you eat and watch yourself begin to make healthier choices.